WESTERN Rams under 18s coach Mick Sullivan is confident he has “the right mix of players” after a Group 10-dominant squad was named to contest the CRL Regional Championships in Wollongong next month.
Group 10 ran rampant against Group 11 in Sunday’s final trial at Apex Oval in Dubbo, played as a curtain-raiser for the City-Country Origin, and was rewarded with 12 Rams representatives including Orange Hawks stars Tony Pellow, Deryne McKenzie and Jedd Kennedy.
The trio were standouts in the 32-14 win, and Sullivan said the 18-man squad is a deserved reflection of Group 10’s dominance.
“I’m very happy with the squad we’ve picked,” he said.
“That trial was always going to be the main factor for deciding the team, and they (Group 10) played some great footy. We’ve got some outstanding individual talent from Group 11, and definitely the right mix of players.
It’s no secret the most successful representative sides are those that gel the best, and with so many guys having played together it’s definitely a good thing.
“There’s no reason we can’t go all the way.”
Sullivan said he was particularly impressed with Pellow, and added the two-blues’ pivot is set to be a revelation for the Rams.
“I was waiting to see something from him at this level,” Sullivan said.
“I think he’s been treading water a bit, but he was outstanding on Sunday. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and I’m looking forward to seeing him at the next level.”
The Rams under 16s squad was also named on Sunday after Groups 10 and 11 clashed prior to the 18s game, with Group 11 winning 32-14. Seven Group 10 players were named, with CYMS’ Jack Bastick Orange’s lone representative.
The squads will train at Manildra’s Jack Huxley Oval on May 14, in preparation for their respective trials against the Southern Redbacks two days later in Windsor.
Both teams then head to Wollongong for the preliminary rounds of the Regional Championships on June 7 and 8, in a bid to qualify for their respective grand finals, played in Tamworth on June 14.
WESTERN RAMS UNDER 18s: Tony Pellow (Orange Hawks), Marshall Sing (Dubbo CYMS), Jake Hall (Dubbo CYMS), Hudson White (Bathurst St Pat’s), Lochie Hobby (Blayney Bears), Jedd Betts (Bathurst Panthers), Ryan Richardson (Narromine Jets), Jack Mackey (Bathurst St Pat’s), Deryne McKenzie (Orange Hawks), Phil Combridge (Dubbo Macquarie), Connor Brebner (Cowra Magpies), Harry Whatman (Cowra Magpies), Kurt Norton (Bathurst St Pat’s), Harry Van Dartel (Dubbo Macquarie), Kiyan Shaw (Dubbo CYMS), Jedd Kennedy (Orange Hawks), Mitch Browne (Cowra Magpies), Zac Adams (Mudgee Dragons).
WESTERN RAMS UNDER 16s: Kotoni Staggs (Wellington Cowboys), Jayden Fagg (Oberon Tigers), Graham Peckham (Wellington Cowboys), Mitchell Andrews (Forbes Magpies), Jesse Parker (Parkes Marist), DJ Kennedy (Narromine Jets), Isaac Thompson (Narromine Jets), Jack Bastick (Orange CYMS), Rick Nobes (Cowra Magpies), Caleb Wardman (Nyngan Tigers), William Burns (Parkes Marist), Ethan Butler (Mudgee Dragons), Matthew Woolnough (Red Bend), Jackson Hourn (Nyngan Tigers), James Goonrey (Red Bend), Nick Miller (Lithgow Storm), Jay Orth (Mudgee Dragons), McCoy White (Bathurst St Pat’s).